West Nile Virus confirmed in dead bird
A dead crow found in Jefferson County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a release from the Jefferson County Health Department.
Health officials said the crow was found June 2, and it’s the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Jefferson County since surveillance started May 1.
West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.
Health officials recommend reducing exposure to mosquitoes and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds.
• Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
• Apply insect repellant to clothing as well as exposed skin since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
• Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
• Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires.
• Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage.
• Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
• Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
• Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.
• Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas.
Health officials said 80 percent of people who get infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Those who get sick experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma.
Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness that can be fatal.
To report a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven, call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 800-433-1610.